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tv   Bloomberg West  Bloomberg  August 22, 2014 11:00pm-12:01am EDT

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francisco, welcome to "bloomberg west" where we cover innovation, technology, and the future of this miss. kleiner perkins buyers have invested in security startups. that did not stop the firm from getting robbed in july. police in menlo park, california say they are investigating the theft of six laptops, two monitors, and a docking station. the break-in might mark the latest case of intellectual theft.
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a man accused of running a $1.2 billion online market known as the silk road faces charges of internet drug trafficking. he has been accused of operating the marketplace where customers use bitcoin where they can buy heroin and fake passports. he was first charged in 2013. he faces charges including conspiracy to commit computer hacking and money laundering. federal regulators are asking comcast to explain their internet and content policies. in a letter made public today, the fcc asks comcast to provide information on a range of its business practices from programming agreements to data
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caps on customers. now, to the lead. the hunt is on for the islamic extremist who brutally murdered american journalist james foley. the killer ensured of the task would not be easy by cloaking himself in black. officials in the u.s. and u.k. are using modern technology along with some old-fashioned police work to analyze the british accented voice in that video. we are joined by a researcher able to identify one of the boston marathon bombers using facial recognition technology. also with us, peter cook. i know you have been diving through the story. what tools are available to researchers and how useful are they going to be? >> i have been talking with
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former and current members of the intelligence and law enforcement communities as to what exactly they are looking for. they do have some clues out there. there is a trail to follow. they will be looking at everything from the shadows in the background to even the style of the cameraman because that could be a distinctive in and of itself. they will have technicians go over the video itself, look for metadata. anything that might give some information on the video. it was shot in a panorama am a very unusual. they had not seen that before. shot in broad daylight. open air, unusual because they were not in any fear that they would be hit by an airstrike. that is notable because it suggests that it wasn't syria. you have the audio that will be examined matched against
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databases. of course, the focus on the suspect himself. what little that we can see of his face could lend itself to facial recognition, something professor jane knows more about. >> you can see the eyes and the bridge of the nose, but you cannot see the eyebrows. how much information is visible? >> in face recognition problems, if you want to match the image to a very large database of one billion individuals, it would be a very difficult problem. but if we know who the suspect might be or the short list, then it is possible to at least rule out some of the suspects. this does contain useful amounts of information.
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in this instance, additional information about the face is rather minimal. as peter pointed out, sometimes the fusion of certain sources of information is really helpful in making an idea of the suspect. the other thing i would like to suggest is to make use of the forensic artist to draw a composite of the suspect. the forensic artist often utilizes other information about the suspect. the height, age. that can render a good impression of the face. this could possibly hit against a database. >> you can really say that much information in the eyes? tell me more about that. >> the eyes have fairly distinct information. with a well-known personality, it is easy to recognize. the ability of recognition is by looking at this sketch artist.
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every morning in the newspaper, we see a cartoon of some famous personality, just a few short strokes, whether it is the nose or the eyes, ears, this can reveal a lot of information. >> i've spoken with both former and current intelligence folks. one thing you will not get out of this is a retinal match. it is not close enough to be able to see the retina. that would have been advantageous to investigators but it doesn't look like like it is an option. >> that is correct. we should not characterize it as the retina but rather the iris.
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you have to shine a bright sort of like. it is really the iris of the eye that is not visible. all of this identification assumes that the suspect's iris, voice resides in some kind of database. >> if it is not in a database, then how do you find a pattern or find a match? technology has its limits but there are so many different avenues to pursue. you mentioned from simply the way the video was shot, whether cell phones were turned on in the area.
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as is the kind of data that the nsa and britain's intelligence agencies collect. did the killer make a mistake by showing too much? >> it was very bold. they left some telltale signs. what if the executioner had worn sunglasses? this will be a challenge. the nsa, the whole surveillance question. if they can get the date stamp and location, then they can look at the issue of what medication devices were in the area at the time. >> i wonder since daniel pearl's killing in pakistan all those years ago, there have been hundreds, perhaps thousands of people killed in this way by terrorists in the middle east. i wonder if the promulgation of
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these videos has led to a bigger problem that washington realizes they will have to confront? >> certainly this killing has changed the debate and change the tone here in washington. all you had to do was watch chuck hagel talk about the imminent threat that isis poses to americans. that was not language that you were hearing before the death of james foley. the other thing i have heard from folks in the intelligence community was that this was a video designed specifically for the u.s. audience, the english-speaking audience. that is different from a lot of these videos in the past. >> thanks to her own peter cook and professor jain. "bloomberg west" will be right back. ♪
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>> as the islamic state militant group continues to wage war in northern iraq, they have been pushing ahead with their social media campaign. twitter has up its efforts to
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block isis-related accounts. they said they would suspend any accounts that were associated with the death. they have switched to diaspora? what is diaspora? we are joined by a researcher from the center for the analysis of social media. what is diaspora and who uses it? >> this is a decentralized network of computers. basically, it is a kind of untraceable social media network. it is part of a larger group of kind of services and platforms that allow people to communicate anonymously on the internet and on the dark knight. so, it is important that they got on there. it is much harder for the security services to understand what they are doing.
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at the same time, actually we should regard this as a kind of a part victory. when these groups are forced off of the more public platforms like twitter, facebook, youtube, so on, it reduces the contact they have with the public and therefore it reduces their propaganda reach. this has not been a victory for them that they have been forced into this network. having said that, whether it is through platforms like diaspora or things like tor or virtual
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private networks, it makes it much much harder for us to understand and to know what they are saying. >> still, we did speak with diaspora, they did a post about this saying that they cannot take this because it is a completely decentralized network, there is no scheduled server and no way for the project team to manipulate or remove content from a particular node in the network that they say is what may be the reason that attracted activists to their network. who else is on there? who are they reaching, what are other people doing and trying to do? >> there is a certain culture surrounding these sites, these kind of services, that we can really briefly examine. on the dark net in general, there is everything from people buying and selling drugs, child pornography. political dissidents, especially for countries like egypt where they might be afraid to talk openly about liberal democracy
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and secular values and things like that. there is a huge range of communities that use these kinds of platforms. you mentioned that it is decentralized and very difficult for them to control. that is the case across all of these technologies, the virtual private network. the content cannot be controlled by the people that created the technology. putting in place, the content cannot be controlled. >> how many people are using these networks, this dark net? are we talking tens of millions, hundreds of millions of people? >> estimating who uses the dark net is extremely difficult.
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one way of looking at it is the amount of money going through online drug websites which makes up a significantly large portion. we are looking at billions and billions of u.s. dollars moving just in cocaine alone. it is extremely difficult to tell who is using it and where. it is significant and its use is growing in the light of the revelations and increased concerns about cryptography in these groups. be they terrorists or be they democratic reformers in different states. >> that is the rising internet underworld, fascinating. thank you so much. do you have a hard time distinguishing fact from fiction on social media? facebook will help you out by
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tagging some posts at satire. find out why. ♪
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>> this is "bloomberg west." a new study reveals that babies are stupid and the world health organization has confirmed that the world death rate is 100%. these are not real headlines but when "the onion" posted satirical articles like this on facebook, some users got confused. now, they place the word satire in front of the word. what does this reveal about the
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way we read news on social media? joining us is cory and joshua benson. isn't it hard of the fun of satirical articles opening them and discovering that this must be a joke? >> you know what the onion is, i know what the onion is, not everyone knows what it is. they are trying to clear up for those people who don't know what they're getting into. the other day i noticed that there was a story on their site which claimed that adam sandler was actually some kind of modern-day nostradamus who had predicted the disasters of the last decade by embedding them in his movies. people thought that was a real phenomenon. it is understandable that facebook would like to improve
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the experiences by letting them not look so stupid. >> no, it is not. the point of satire is to separate morons and thinking people. i think that this is a horrible thing. my god, labeling satire? it is wrong. >> why would you get it on facebook? >> that is not true. google has labeled onion news stories as satire for a number of years. what you see is a complete loss of context. you knew you were getting "new york times" content. on the web, everything is a series of url's. your best friend's baby pictures are next to some terrible news in the middle east, next to a picture of a cat. >> they need to think. people need to think and say, adam sandler isn't nostradamus. nostradamus isn't even nostradamus. the point of understanding things and putting context in
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things is what your brain and education is supposed to teach you. your experience as a human being on the earth is supposed to allow you to do. >> well, if you are feeling sorry for "the onion," they have said that the key part is a headline. they write the headline first and then they write the story based on that. >> as users, should we be at all concerned that facebook has the power to do this? we have been having a discussion about facebook, twitter, youtube removing content related to extremists. obviously, completely different stories but it does speak to the power of these websites which are ubiquitous. >> there is a difference between being a publisher and a platform. a lot of people in the news business would love it if facebook was an open platform that did not interfere with their content.
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you do see a real tension on the sort of an issue. twitter, facebook, and other social networks are trying to make sure that their users have a good experience. if a user feels that they were not given what was expected, they can move that against facebook or twitter and use that as a reason to not go back.
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the folks that are producing the content and the intermediaries want to moderate that in some sort of way. >> there was a moment when kim jong-un was named one of the sexiest men alive by " the onion" and the communist party daily took it seriously. they took it as if it was serious including the wonderful lines. " with his handsomely round face, his strong sturdy frame, he is a heartthrob and every woman's dream come true." people that don't get satire is one of the great joys of satire. here is my real hope. facebook is doing this as satire for people that don't get satire. >> facebook is saying that this is a small test. >> if this was april 1, we would not believe it.
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>> cory johnson and joshua benson, thank you both. more "bloomberg west" after this break. we will be talking about burning man. ♪
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>> you are watching "bloomberg west" where we focus on innovation, technology, and the future of business. the annual burning man gathering has become a must attend for many in the tech community, even attracting big names like larry page, elon musk, mark zuckerberg. the tech community has brought its tech dollars for things like private jets, air conditioned yurts, even world class chefs/ is this changing the burning man experience for better or for worse?
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we are joined by our guest who has attended the event for the last 20 years. as someone who has been to burning man for two decades, for those that aren't burners, what is so special about it? >> it is a place where you generally tend to meet people celebrating creativity, feeling good about themselves, feeling free to express themselves in ways that maybe they are not free to express themselves in day-to-day life. it is a place or everyone is -- where everyone is really happy and everyone is amazed because most people around them are building amazing pieces of sculpture or fire art of a sort that you probably would never see in any museum, are dressed in a particularly flashy or colorful way. it is a place where people are having fun and feeling free and
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it is a great vibe. people are willing to pay a lot to go and to put themselves to a lot of trouble to go. it is in an alkali salt flat where the temperature can easily get over 100 during the day and easily get below freezing. these wind gust storms are very common that might knock down every shelter you build. people feel very attached to it because they struggle to be there. that is why the tech thing bothers some people. if you helicopter yourself into mount everest, have you been to mount everest? if you're not suffering at burning man, you might not be doing it right. >> i thought it jumped the shark 10 years ago. the editor of "time" magazine flew out. i know all of the people that are at this thing. i don't get the connection between technology people and burning man. it is not just the tech workers, it is the ceo's. >> this has been going on since
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1996. back when it only had 4000 people, "wired" put it on the cover. burning man evolved in san francisco before it went to nevada. people are into weird, colorful underground art and expression. the tech people caught on to it early. a lot of them got superrich between 1996 and now. they are roughing it but they're still there, contributing,
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helping to fund some of the amazing art. if you are a burner who feels like your neighborhood has been gentrified and you don't like that, that should not ruin your ability to appreciate the event which to me is a great as it ever was. >> an interesting piece about a line being drawn in the sand between the tech elite and everyone else. does it feel that way? does it feel like there is a division? >> if you're just someone who bought a ticket and you're there, you would not have any way of knowing that anyone you see is a tech billionaire. there is a wall of rv's. it is not very inviting. to me, the average person would have no reason to even now that
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-- know that there is tons of tech money there except when they're seeing the cool things that the tech money funds. >> are people upset about it? >> i think they are more set -- upset about it because they read about it. a lot of people have this idea that it should be a challenging experience, it should test you. you should be self-reliant instead of spending money to have other people take care of you. i really don't see why you think that the way other people choose. that is your own bad attitude, i would say. there is no more illegal drug use out there than anywhere else. it is sort of like electronic
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dance music culture in a sense. i would say your psychedelics are probably being used out there at a higher percentage than the average scene. >> how important is that to the experience of burning man for most people? >> there is no way of knowing. there is a vibe that feels druggy. it is a happy place. nobody knows your answer to the question is the answer. >> one of the things you mention is that the tech community is helping to fund things like the artwork. how involved are some of these ceos to contributing and trying to make it better and ensure its longevity?
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>> one thing the google people did was contributed a ton of free community bikes. they are supposed to be a giant -- there is supposed to be a giant mobile glowing brain with neurons flashing. a mobile tesla coil. a dance dome in motion. in the age of kick starter, the minions of the tech world. they get to fund things in a less coordinated way. lots of little bits of tech money make everything possible. most of the art is self funded by the people that make it. some of it is incredibly elaborate, some of it costs in the high six or even seven figures. a burning man without the money
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would be far less interesting and less colorful. >> so many people talk about the art so much. as you go around the bay area. >> people talk about the experience and the feeling, the reflection. >> well, let's go. >> if i can stay in air-conditioned yurt. brian doherty, author of the book "this is burning man." thank you so much, have a great time. you have heard about outsourcing but what about the impact sourcing? find out how the tech areas are expanding the digital economy to some of the most impoverished areas in the world. ♪
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>> i am emily chang and this is "bloomberg west" on bloomberg television, streaming online and on your phone and tablet. impact sourcing is different from outsourcing. impact sourcing is a unique
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model that brings tech jobs to women and used to impoverished communities around the world. cory johnson is back with more. >> micro work, they call it. it started in 2008. some of the biggest tech companies in the world are using this. the founder and ceo joins us right now. first of all, the name, what does that mean? >> it means equal in sanskrit. >> i love this idea. talk to us about how it works. >> we believe that talent is evenly distributed around the world but opportunity is not. globally there is a shortfall of 1.8 billion jobs. there is a huge need for jobs in developing countries. we break down big technology projects from companies like candy images into really small units of work and then we train to go on the other and to do things like image tagging. >> you find the projects and you
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try to figure out who the partners might be. then the training of the workers, tell me how that works and how labor-intensive that is. >> you would be surprised. young people in places like kenya and uganda where we have over 800 workers are able to do things like image tagging relatively easily. our work involves simple things like letting us know which celebrity is in an image. for someone in uganda, this is the best kind of work to do. we have had a lot of success training people from local high schools and universities. >> we talked about endlessly about unemployment, will it be at six percent or six point three percent. what kind of statistics are we talking about in africa? >> extremely high rates of unemployment, up to 60-80% where we work. and people don't understand that that is one of the key drivers of terrorism in the region.
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>> it seems like an impossible thing to get around if you are so surrounded by this. how could you ever overcome it with out an opportunity? >> there are actually a lot of talented graduates and employing them through the internet is much easier than employing them through traditional means. to build a big factory in a location like uganda would be difficult. you can find an internet center inside of shipping containers. we get over a lot of the infrastructure hurdles. >> what kind of jobs do you see? >> globally, online work is a fast-growing industry. it is expected to hit about $5 billion from 2018. we are doing image tagging, we write content for websites. >> give me some examples of another. >> we are helping them tag a massive celebrity image database. they need to assign labels for these images so that when you are a reporter, you can easily access it. >> i would not think that i
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would go to uganda to find people that know kim kardashian. >> it's actually scary. we have youth tagging pictures of rihanna. >> people are furthering themselves by identifying these things? >> this is enormous. in these regions the property rates are extremely high. the average income is between two dollars and three dollars a day. all workers employed over 6000 people around the world and they are able to double their incomes in three months. what we see is that after they do this work, they tend to stay
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out of poverty. >> really fascinating stuff. thank you. great to see you. >> coming up next, move over kim kardashian, another celebrity is out with an app that is tearing up the charts. we explain how tom hanks is getting into the app world. ♪
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>> welcome back to "bloomberg west." when you type on your ipad, do you ever feel nostalgic for the simple days of typewriters or do you just miss the sound that a typewriter makes? now, there is an app for that. the free app has shot to the top of the apple itunes charts. joining me is the head of the company that helped tom hank develop this app. you personally worked with him? >> we had a team of 20 people. they were all passionate about it. it was exciting to be on the phone with tom hanks and hear his input. >> what did he want, what did he say? >> he wanted something to give
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to his fans that love typewriters. he wanted to bring back the sound of creativity. it wasn't just about typing on your phone and hearing the click but hearing the symphony of the typewriters in the past and bring them to life. >> that is quite a metaphor. he himself is a typewriter enthusiast. that sounds like a lot. it seems so simple. what were all of these 20 people doing? >> you have the people that designed it and this sort of 3-d modeling and you have those that bring it to life through animation. you have the programming people, the testing, the copy. it is a fun process. >> we have seen kim kardashian app become a big hit. are celebrity sponsored apps the next big thing? >> we work closely with a lot of celebrities and we are trying to
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get that space we get to social and viral success. sort of a fun way to bring an app to the public. >> how long have you been working on this? >> normal projects are about six months, give or take a little bit. >> so, your office is located in l.a. any other celebrities you would like to work with or are working with? >> it's a big list. the way they work in hollywood, you can talk about it. >> a lot of celebrities are currently working on it. any hints? >> that is monday's segment. >> what do see in terms of trends in terms of creating apps and making hits? it is surprising to me that an
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app that is so simple like this could be a big hit. >> you have 9 million developers. they are all trying to find their little space. we just felt the passion is and he has as an artist like tom hanks is how do we find his passion and bring it to the app store and use his social awareness to show everybody how it works and get their input? there have been a tremendous point of gratitude from his fans. >> will he remain involved? >> yes, i think -- i did not -- he did not say this, i only read this, that he has over 200 typewriters. i think he is pretty passionate about us maybe doing an update. >> what about for the iphone? >> that is a good question.
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you think if i could get a dollar for everybody that asked that. you think about the size of an ipad compared to an iphone. we have to see if we can work it out. >> talking about a new app sponsored by tom hanks. it is time for the bwest byte where we focus on one number that tells a whole lot. it had better be good. >> i don't know. how about this, 8? >> i am sending an e-mail. >> well, the average american attention span last year was eight seconds. in 2000, it was 12 seconds. that puts the average american in second place behind goldfish. goldfish have the attention span of nine seconds.
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if people can think about something for 12 seconds, maybe they realize it is a joke, eight seconds, they don't get it. >> you would have to wonder how much smartphones and ipads have had to do with this. obviously, it enables our attention spans to be shorter. >> well, it is a serious issue. i was reading a study today that talked about how short attention spans lead to poor ability to read and even see things as well. this leads to a dumber populous. -- populace. then i had to admit that i read the abstract, i did not read the entire study because i don't have the attention span for that. >> if you are tired of watching "bloomberg west," no problem, it is over. that is it for the friday edition of the show. thank you for joining us. ♪
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